COLLABORATIVE WORKING IN A VIRTUAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY
University of Malaga (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Virtual learning environments are gaining importance in higher education especially in the time of COVID-19. One of the most relevant challenges imposed in the educational field during the pandemic was to transform real laboratory practices into virtual laboratory practices. Although many websites provide electronic repositories of multimedia material (audio and video files), a dynamic collaborative methodology is required to successfully used these materials in a distance education environment.
In this work, a methodology based on a collaborative e-learning system has been developed using Microsoft Teams. Students worked in smalls groups to discuss concepts and find solutions to practical exercises in the virtual laboratory. The role of teacher was to encourage students to take more control of their own learning process, i.e, the role of the teacher was to facilitate and to organise resources in order to improve teaching-learning process. The application of this methodology was carried out in the course “Chemical Engineering Practices” in the 2nd year of the degree in Chemical Engineering. Through the activity described in this work, teacher’s team have identified an increase of the knowledge acquisition about theoretical aspect, participation, and motivation. Although it is clear that practical skills development should be facilitated through laboratory practices, the methodology proposed is a promising tool to develop professional competences.
Keywords: Virtual laboratory, Collaborative work, Learning-by-doing.